In the moment when stressful things happen or anger flares, it’s not always easy to think of options for responding in a compassionate, effective and self-loving way.

So we created this short list of our favorite tools that we hope you can easily recall and use during the holidays – and beyond!

So without further ado, here are the:

Top 10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Anger, Frustration
and Stress During the Holiday Season

  1. Change your expectations. Life is not a hallmark movie! Be realistic – and let go of grudges…preferably before they start!
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  2. Holidays don’t have to be “the same as they’ve always been” to be good. “New and different” may turn out to be something you grow to love.
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  3. Let go of your need to control – go with the flow and allow the inevitable “imperfections” to be ok. Focus on loving connections.
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  4. Simplify and set boundaries. Know that you don’t have to do everything or participate in everything! Do only what really gives you joy and satisfaction.
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  5. Get enough sleep! Being well rested will go a long way in helping to keep things in perspective. Take great care of yourself so you can really enjoy this time.
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  6. Make a list of ways you want to celebrate the holidays – Not a list of “have to’s” but a list of “would love to’s!” Because when you know clearly what you want, it’s more likely to happen that way.
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  7. You know your family, you know how they are. Be peacefully prepared for their idiosyncrasies. Don’t expect them to be different! See how much kindness you can bring to your thoughts about them.
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  8. Acknowledge that you do, in fact, have options. You can make new and different decisions in any situation. Be true to your own desired outcomes. Be creative!
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  9. Discuss finances and set reasonable and respectful money limits on gifts. Understand someone else may be feeling stressed about affording  presents that meet an unspoken “standard,” even if you’re not.
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  10. Communicate, communicate, communicate! And always with respect, compassion and honesty. Do not explain, defend or justify – express your preferences, and make requests for what you want.

Always remember to state your desired outcome, and BREATHE… BREATHE… BREATHE!

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